Deepfake tech could reduce returns, John Lewis robotics blueprint & Urban outfitters join clothing rental trend

The Scurri eCommerce weekly top 3

Each week we gather the top three ecommerce news items of the week. Here’s what stood out for us this week!

The video editing technology that has been dubbed “deepfake” has some spooky potential implications, but startups are looking for ways it might be useful at retail. Thus far, deepfakes have mostly been used for novelty’s sake. A popular video of Jim Carrey’s face superimposed over Jack Nicholson’s in his starring role in The Shining, for instance, makes for a humorous if not unsettling watch. This ability of deepfakers to tamper with video, however, also demonstrates the technology’s potential for abuse.

As for its uses at retail, though, deepfake technology represents a potential evolution of remote try-on technology that promises greater convenience for shoppers and fewer product returns. Brands and retailers have rolled out numerous AR apps which in addition to clothing, allow for virtual try-ons of products like makeup and hair dye which can be time consuming or difficult to test out in real life. Read the full article here.

The John Lewis Partnership has worked with robotics companies, design consultants and industry bodies to develop what it says is the first blueprint for human robotic interaction (HRI) of the 21st century.

The retail group, which owns John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners, has worked with the Small Robot Company whose robots are being used on the Waitrose farm, and strategic design consultancy Method, among others to develop the blueprint. It says the initiative, which will now go out to consultation, is designed to encourage the safe and ethical use of robotics across UK industry. It will also, it says, help define how autonomous robotic technology should interact with people working in sectors from retail to including manufacturing and farming.  Read the full article here.

Urban Outfitters has launched a brand-new subscription rental service as it becomes the latest retailer to invest in the billion-dollar online rental market.

URBN, the parent company of Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie and Free People, has officially launched Nuuly, an online rental service where customers will pay a monthly fee and receive six items of their choice.

“We see a real opportunity in the rental space, and we wanted to invest in that accordingly, building out a true lifestyle brand with a broad, inclusive assortment, as well as its own distinct brand voice and web experience for our shoppers,” Nuuly’s director of marketing Kim Gallagher said. Read the full article here.

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Author: Laura Roche, Marketing Executive, Scurri

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